Hong Kong City, the very heart of Hong Kong, is known to be full of life, color, and vibrance. With a culmination of modern architecture and traditional culture, it has something for everyone. It’s known for its busy and loud streets, stylish people, luxurious malls, and, most importantly, the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland.
Hong Kong City is so rich in tourist locations; you will find that planning for this trip is super easy. With so much to do, you must take an extended trip so that you can truly experience and immerse yourself in the magic that is Hong Kong.
There are a lot of unique countries for travel in Asia. Among the most popular ones are Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, Bali, India, Malaysia. Hong Kong, however, tops the list because it has everything a tourist loves; beaches, mountains, theme parks, high-end shopping complexes, street markets, and a stunning skyline, which you can see in all its glory from many vantage points.
All in all, Hong Kong is a traveler’s delight. And with a city as busy as Hong Kong City, you will never run out of things to do. Here are the top 8 things to do in Hong Kong City:
1. Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour is a natural channel of water that is south to the main island of Hong Kong. A busy waterfront, you will see it dotted with colors of boats and ferries. All around it, you can see the skyline of Hong Kong City, scenic with a beautiful layout of tall, modern buildings.
You can view buildings such as the Bank of China, the International Commerce Centre, and the HSBC building. The top of the International Commerce Centre, which is the sky 100 observation deck, is visibly hidden behind clouds on many rainy days.
There are several promenades from where you can view Victoria Harbour; Tsim Sha Tsui, Central Waterfront, Victoria Peak, and many rooftop bars. The harbor is a famous tourist attraction because there is a lot to do there. Here are some things you can do to marvel the beauty of Victoria Harbour:
Symphony of Lights
A light and sound show that involves 42 buildings from Hong Kong’s skyline illuminates the sky every night at 8 pm for 14 minutes. It costs nothing, and you are free to view it from multiple vantage points. The most popular is the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, from where you capture a perfect view of the colorful lights along with a synchronized musical score, as they reflect off of the waves of the Victoria Harbour.
If you are in Hong Kong City, you don’t want to witness the magic of these lights painting the cityscape of Hong Kong for 14 glorious minutes.
Who wouldn’t want the wind in their hair and colors in the sky, as they marvel at the beauty of Victoria Harbour?
The Star Ferry will ferry you across the harbor as it takes quick ten minute rides, or longer 60-minute rides, around the area. It is one of the oldest modes of commute in Hong Kong, and you will find many heading to work in the morning through the ferry.
2. Peak Tram
The peak tram is a funicular railway that runs on Hong Kong Island, to take you to its highest point- the Victoria Peak. While it may seem like just a mode of transportation, it is a thrill ride that takes you to the peak, which is 554 meters above the sea.
Since its opening in 1888, it has witnessed multiple changes and advancements, making it safe, fun, and a favorite for tourists. It will transport you to ancient times with its old-fashioned look and rustic vibe, as it runs up a very steep track and gives you a view of the entire Hong Kong City. The steepness of the trail will make you feel like you are almost vertical, but don’t worry because multiple measures can ensure your safety.
Tip: Make sure you grab a seat fast because the tram is always filled with many people, which will require you to stand for the entire ride.
Alternative: You can also hike to the Victoria Peak if you’re up for a little exercising adventure. The hike promises some stunning views of the Hong Kong City and some Instagram worthy spots.
3. Victoria Peak
The Victoria Peak will show you, standing in one spot, a panorama view of the entire mainland of Hong Kong City. Once you’re there, the first thing to do is head to the Peak Tower, a shopping complex filled with gift and souvenir shops, café and restaurants, and even a Madame Tussauds! After satiating yourself with food, you can head to the Sky Terrace for a view of over 1500 skyscrapers, making Hong Kong the most vertical city in the world.
Tip: With the high altitude, the weather will be chillier on the terrace, so make sure you carry an extra jacket!
4. Ngong Ping 360
The best route to reach the glorious Ngong Ping Village in Lantau Island is the Ngong Ping 360, which was constructed solely to attracts tourists. It is a cable car, with a glass exterior, for standard cabins, which gives you a 25-minute ride. For crystal cabins, even the floor is made of glass, allowing you to see the ocean and forests as you are gradually taken higher into the air.
It seats between 7 to 10 people so that everyone has comfort and space to enjoy the view without the cabin feeling overcrowded.
On clear days, you can spot the airport and the majority of Hong Kong City from the cabin. On not so clear days, your cabin may be surrounded by clouds, making the experience even more adventurous. Either way, you will enjoy a 360-degree view from a glass box in the sky.
Alternative: You can hike to get to the Ngong Ping village, although it is intense and prolonged. You can also take a bus or cab, in case you don’t fancy extended heights. Even the bus ride is promising, with good views and a much cheaper ticket. Or to get a feel of both, you can take the cable to go up and the bus when you want to get down.
5. Ngong Ping Village: Tian Tan Buddha
After the cable car ride, you will find yourself directly in the Ngong Ping Village. With the appeal of a small town from right out of an old book, the village is full of things to do. As you make your way through it, you will come across massive and creative souvenir shops, selling intricate handmade items. There is also a fascinating toy shop that has all kinds of high-quality toys, some handmade, others expertly engineered.
Cafés and restaurants sell authentic Hong Kong food, comprising of dumplings, fish balls, ramen, wontons, milk tea, egg tarts, and more. After you take your time strolling the village, you can head to one of Hong Kong city’s finest tourist attractions, the Tian Tan Buddha or Big Buddha, which is a bronze statue of the Buddha; a mere ten minute walk away.
112 ft tall, the Big Buddha sits on a lotus on a triple floored platform. To get a nearer look at it, you have to climb 268 steps, although it is worth it (there is an alternative for wheelchairs). Up close, you can see the details of the statue, along with the six smaller figures around it, all symbolizing something. On rainy or foggy days, you may not be able to see the head of the statue.
Other places to visit in Ngong Ping Village: You can see the Po Lin Monastery and the Tai O Fishing village, a few minutes away from the Tian Tan Buddha.
6. Temple Street Night Market
If you’re up for a shopping adventure like never before, the Temple Street Night Market is for you. Even if you don’t fancy shopping, you need to visit this open-air market, which is open every night and is located literally in the streets of Kowloon. It spans across a few blocks, so make sure you wear shoes and have a lot of patience and energy.
This street market has all kinds of trinkets, from handmade cards, electronics, clothes, magnets, bags, watches, wallets, footwear; you name it, and you will find it. The deeper you navigate, the more enjoyable your finds will be. You will discover artsy, gypsy, and unique handmade items that you can keep for yourself or gift to friends and family.T the best part is you can bargain like there is no tomorrow.
As a tourist, you need to negotiate expertly because the vendors will try to charge you a higher price. Also, make sure you don’t end up buying a fake electronic device because that is quite common. Click here for tips to have the ultimate shopping experience in the temple street night market. Also, after your spending spree, head to the nearby local eateries to have some delicious street style Hong Kong food.
7. Nan Lian Garden
The Nan Lian Garden is located in Diamond Hill and is a fresh and peaceful place you can visit when you need a break from all the tourist intensive hotspots. The garden is 3.5 hectares in area, and has a unique architecture, making it refreshingly distinctive. It is filled with bonsai trees, waterfalls, ponds, water fountains, rocks, and wooden structures.
It also has a gallery and nunnery, inside it which is designed with a wooden exterior and lends to the charm of the garden. The garden is chilly, silent, and perfect for some pictures. The best spot, however, has to be the iconic red bridge, known accurately as the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection.
8. Hong Kong Disneyland
Disneyland is called the happiest place on earth for a reason. While Hong Kong Disneyland is the smallest Disneyland in the world, it is still a full day experience and a magical one at that.
It also has the lowest visitors every day in the world, making it significantly less crowded, which means small or no lines! With an influence of the Chinese culture, this Disneyland is unique. If you’re not visiting Disneyland while in Hong Kong, you are missing out!
A paradise for adults and children alike, Hong Kong Disneyland is divided into seven themes. The main street, which is the first thing you will see when you step into the park, has an ancient Midwestern town vibe, because of the architecture of the structures and pathway.
After that, you can head to whichever land you see fit and then go through all seven of them before making your way back to the main street to see the final night-time parade and show, “Paint the Night,” and “Disney in the Stars.”
There are also a few Marvel-themed rides inspired by Ant-man and Iron-man. One of the most fun and eerie rides in the Mystic Manor. The Jungle River Cruise is very entertaining, mainly because of the funny tour guides who speak in Mandarin, Chinese, and English.
The thrilling rides include a rollercoaster inspired by the Grizzly Gulch and the HyperSpace Mountain. The “It’s a small world” slow ride, takes you on a boat ride around the entire world.
Also, make sure you don’t miss out on the fantastic shows based on Moana, the Lion King, and the Mickey Mouse characters. The Cinderella carousel looks magical at night and is a perfect place for photos. Even the rides that may seem child-ish have an enchanting fairy-tale charm to them, like the Mad Hatter Tea Cups, Slinky Dog Spin, and the Toy Story Soldier Parachute Drop.
Watch this video to know more about Hong Kong Disneyland:
Note: The Sleeping Beauty Castle is under construction, so that area is out of bounds.
Tip: Download the HKD app to find out the lines and the waiting time so that you can have an optimal experience. Also, so that you know the timings of shows and parades and don’t miss out on them.
Hong Kong City is a culmination of beautiful tourist spots, many of which have vantage points that give you a breathtaking view of the entire cityscape. There is also easy transportation, with subway and buses that run all day. With affordable hotel prices, cheap shopping areas, delicious local food, the world’s best theme park, and a beautiful touch of nature, Hong Kong City needs to be on your bucket list!
Click here to know more about Hong Kong City’s attractions.